Radboud International Travel Challenge 2022

The Radboud International Travel Challenge invites professionals on the Radboud campus to make the international travel policies of their department more sustainable, in particular when it comes to flying.

schone blauwe lucht

Academic professionals spend a lot of time in planes. Needless to say, this is bad for the environment: the combined CO2 output of flying scientists is bigger than that of entire countries. If we’re serious about the climate crisis and want to achieve our goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030, we have to take action.  And we can!

The Challenge 

Radboudumc and Radboud University have a shared sustainable travel policy. You can read more about it on the website. Among other things, it stipulates that no more flights will be flown to cities that can be reached by a more sustainable alternative means of transport within 7 hours In addition, in 2023 both organisations will jointly appoint a travel agency that will arrange all business trips for their employees. This provides the opportunity for departments and research groups on the campus to review and update their travel policies. 

The Radboud International Travel Challenge elaborates on this flight policy in a competition, for those brave enough to take up the challenge. Participants will be competing to come up with an innovative and ambitious policy for traveling abroad, that reduces carbon footprint while still allowing professionals to grow and maintain their international networks. 

What to do?

A sustainable international travel policy does not necessarily exclude flying. Rather, it involves making thoughtful decisions on when to fly, when to use alternative means of travel and when to meet up digitally. In addition, such a policy should strike a balance between the interests of established scientists and those at the start of their careers. You may think about the following questions: 

  • How do you find a good balance between making travel behavior more sustainable on the one hand and stimulating international cooperation and the careers of (junior) colleagues on the other?
  • How do you deal with the interests of junior and senior colleagues when traveling internationally and attending international meetings?
  • Which events and meetings do you want to attend physically and which digitally? On the basis of which criteria do you make that decision?
  • How will you encourage and facilitate each other to use more sustainable alternatives to air-travel (including train or digital attendance)?
  • How do you make your ambitions concrete and how will you monitor and visualize your progress?



In order to help you make informed decisions on your new policy, you can find useful reading material and other resources on this topic on the website. This page will be regularly updated in the months to come, so be sure to be check it out . 

The winner

The winner of the Radboudumc International Travel Challenge will be announced in January 2023. They will receive a unique bronze statue of a kiwi – a famous flightless bird.


Participating is simple: just fill in the registration form below and send it to greenoffice [at] ru.nl before January 31, 2023. 

For more information, visit the Radboud Green Office.

Registration form Radboud International Travel Challenge